During the preseason tour, it was clear that the body language of Luis Suarez had its own body language, and that body language was decidedly ambivalent. It was also a couple pounds over playing weight, jet lagged, and in desperate need of a shave, but the returns weren't encouraging. I joke, but it was somewhat worrying, especially as the flashbacks from Fernando Torres' last few months in Liverpool started rolling in; nobody had good body language with Roy Hodgson at the helm, least of all Hodgson, but a disquieted striker who's basically a walking, talking sigh is not the most pleasant sight.
Ian Ayre is nonplussed, however, and is publicly certain that those with dual degrees in body language and retweeting are soon to be out of work, as he's basically guaranteeing Luis Suarez to remain with Liverpool:
"We've got Luis Suarez in our squad, he'll have trained today and he's working hard. Despite what people think we've not had an intention of selling Luis, we've never said we want to sell Luis. He continues to work hard and train hard for Liverpool. That will continue and I'll expect him to be here at the start of the season."
"It's not something we're interested in and, as our fans would expect, we rejected both. The player is not available for sale - that's where we are and that's where we'll stay. I wish I had £1 for everyone that's stopped me in the street saying 'make sure Luis stays'. That's what we're doing."
"I'm sure he's going to stay - that's always been our ambition and that's what we expect to achieve."
That's about the most concrete language we've heard from any of Liverpool's higher-ups or squad members--Steven Gerrard and Stewart Downing were hopeful, Brendan Rodgers was optimistic, but Ayre is expectant, and being "sure he's going to stay" ups the stakes further, leaving the club with only two outcomes that can be viewed as positive.
The first is to keep the player, winning the player power v. club debate forever and going on to unparalleled glory, or sell him for silly money that everyone agrees is too good to turn down. For better or worse, anything else at this point would have to be considered a failure on the club's part, and while it might be dangerous territory for the club to tread (at least in terms of reputation), I don't think I'd have it any other way. They are and have been firm about who's in control of the situation, and short of a player rebellion, they're going to see the situation out successfully.
Opinions on the player will remain divided, but sentiment toward the club and their handling of the situation has to be roundly praised. The only downside is that they've had so much practice trying to figure out how to publicly navigate a controversy involving Luis Suarez.